Indian team aims to have long training

Dr. Karni Singh Range likely to host the shooters

After its overwhelming performance in the World Cup here in March, Indian shooting has lost a precious month planning the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) maintained that the discussions were on between the stake holders and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to finalise the course of action.

The readiness of the Indian shooters was evident in the manner the team won 15 of the 30 gold medals on offer in the World Cup. In fact, India won 30 of the 82 medals. The second best performer, the US team, managed four gold, three silver and a bronze. No other team reached double figures for medals, which should give a fair indication about the Indian shooters’ capacity on the global stage, though power houses like China and Korea were not present.

The cream of Indian shooting has been reduced to home training after the World Cup. Some like Divyansh Singh Panwar, Manu Bhaker, Sanjeev Rajput and Abhishek Verma have been training at the Dr. Karni Singh range here in their individual capacity.

Plans upended

Rifle coach Deepali Deshpande conceded that it was hard to finalise training as so many aspects tended to divert the plans.

“We finalise something and in a day or two some new restrictions come in and we have to change our plan. We are on the edge now. We must decide and start working,” said Deepali.

The general plan is to have a long training camp for the shooters which could be the only preparation for them before they compete in Tokyo.

“The European championships are still on. But I am not sure whether we can reach there,” said Deepali.

Summer conditions

The Dr. Karni Singh Range is likely to be the venue for training, even though the shooters, especially in the 25 and 50 metre events would struggle with the summer conditions.

“We have many good training facilities but all of them are in places where the summer is really harsh. AMU in Mhow has a better facility and good weather also,” said Deepali.

Quite thoughtfully, SAI has tweaked the quarantine rules in such a way that shooters would be able to start training “in small groups” straight-away.

In about a week’s time, the Indian shooters are expected to start firing away as a team, and sustain their work, till they depart for Tokyo.

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